22 Main Pros and Cons of using Co-working Spaces for a Startup

   Co-working Spaces are growing rapidly in number, with them having become a worldwide trend in the present business environment. Especially startups, long-distance workers, freelancers, etc. tend to prefer these workspaces in comparison to traditional offices.

They can help people save up on money, work with peers and garner a lot of experience on working with people from all different backgrounds. They can be the stepping stone before moving on to your own office space later on when your business flourishes. 

Startups can rent an office space at a far cheaper ratePrivacy takes a huge hit in the shared space
The space can scaled easily according to the needsThere can be a huge number of distractions
Co-working spaces provide a lot of amenitiesThere are a large number of restrictions imposed by the space provider
A proper working space helps in providing structureYou are extremely limited when it comes to customising your work space
You get to collaborate with a host of different peopleThe Co-working spaces can get extremely crowded
You have a sense of community working with so many peopleShared working spaces can lead a lot of unwanted competition
Co-working spaces offer their renters access to an array of events
Startups can build on their company culture here
The rapid increase in the number of startups has led to increasing benefits
Very little time is needed for the setup

Advantages of using Co-working Spaces for a Startup

  • Rent :

  Rent prices are skyrocketing at the moment. The bigger the space that is being rented, coupled with an advantageous location can drastically push the rent very high up. However, renting co-working spaces can provide a startup with a cost-effective alternative to have a desirable office space at a feasible price. 

  • Scaling :

  A common characteristic of all startups is a fluctuating group size. So constantly trying to reorganise any traditional office space in accordance to that can become almost impossible. “Co-working spaces”, are designed keeping this factor in mind and the provider(s) can design the private office space to suit your needs, so that you can continue working efficiently. 

  • Amenities :

  Furniture, access to a stable built-in wifi, conference rooms, break rooms, kitchens, copiers, telephone systems, snacks, etc. are all amenities that come with renting co-working spaces. The provider(s) charges a small fee for these. In fact these perks also help in boosting the morale of the employees, very important in case of startups. 

  • Structure :

  Having a space dedicated to work keeps people accountable and helps in establishing a routine. People can switch to their work mode when moving to the workspace from wherever they were before, so that they can perform their work well. Working from homes, garages, etc., as is the case for many startups, might not be so fruitful. 

  • Collaboration

   Owing to many people sitting beneath the same roof, a creative and hard-working environment is formed. Co-working spaces allow people to bounce their ideas off of one another and get inspired. Collaborating with other entrepreneurs can help with your own problems, clear doubts, form connections between organisations, stimulate your creativity, etc. 

  • Sense of Community :

  Being in a startup, can leave you feeling extremely lonely and isolated. However, having interactions with other people who themselves are self-employed and/or are running their own businesses can be a great source of motivation. You can work as peers, share your ideas and co-working spaces very often form personal connections. 

  • Events :

   Several space providers offer their renters access to different panel discussions with experts from varied fields, as guest speakers to provide crucial insight and knowledge. Several offer advisory sessions and even consultations. Team Lunches, happy hours every week, networking nights, etc are all great community events that are on offer, which startups might not always have access to. 

  • Company Culture :

   The experience a startup gathers while working in a co-working space, can be the foundation on which they build the office culture for their own company. In fact, if a startup can establish a desirable working environment in their co-working space, they can simply implement that as their company culture. 

  • Continued Improvements :

  The rising popularity of Co-working spaces has led to providers coming up with a host of added benefits to make their spaces more alluring. You also have the added benefits of  having a host of options to choose from, like location, price, space offered, features available, etc., to select the space best suited for your startup. 

  •  Time

   Moving from one space to a new one means, furniture has to be moved, different systems have to be set up, etc. However, with a Co-working space, startups do not need to waste any time on all this and can get working immediately. Furniture, amenities, wifi, phones, other equipment, etc. are already provided for by the space provider. 

Disadvantages of using Co-working Spaces for a Startup

  • Privacy Breach :

   Working in a shared environment means startups may often have to deal with other people overhearing your conversations over the phone, papers being misplaced, other people seeing your work, etc. Often these spaces use panes of glass as dividers instead to walls to lessen costs while some focus on collaborative layouts that lack private areas. 

  • Distractions :

  While working with other organisations has benefits, it is also very distracting, especially for people who require extreme concentration for their work. In Co-working spaces you have no control over other organisations’ meetings, how loudly people talk on phones or listen to music, other employees taking breaks etc., making it much harder to focus. 

  • Restrictions :

Not only will you have access to only the office space allotted to you, you may also have to choose between the given options for the kind of space you get. Like a private office, only a dedicated desk, only one desk which can change from day to day, etc. 

  • Customization :

  Even though you already have your furniture, your systems, your setup, etc. ready for your beforehand, it also means you can customise the space in the way that you might have wanted to. You do not have the authority to decorate the walls, bring in your own furniture, install your own systems, etc. 

  • Crowd :

  Co-working spaces, especially ones that are situated in popular locations, can get pretty crowded during office hours. Each organisation working in the space will have their own share of clients, delivery people, trainees, etc. making the scene very chaotic. This means a whole lot of commotion and confusion leading to reduction in productivity. 

  • Unhealthy Competition :

  Working with other entrepreneurs means that there is a high chance that you will end up working organisations in the same field. In case of a less-than-friendly atmosphere, there can be extremely unhealthy competition with even people from different companies having conflicts leading to a nightmare for the HR departments. 

 So as we can see there are a host of different pros and cons for a startup to look at before taking the decision of whether or not to rent out a Co-working space. Simply put, it is a personal choice and it would be advisable for each startup to actually go and check the place out and weigh out all options before opting for the space. 

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